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September 15, 2023 E-Newsletter

This week's note from Rev. Bill



             What do these things have to do with each other? In our exploration of the Ten Commandments, I am encouraging us to look beyond just memorizing the words, but to look at the intent behind them. 


             When you get something “Engraved”, you usually think about carving something into or upon a surface, usually to identify it if it is ever stolen. But another definition is “the process of cutting or carving a design upon a hard surface, so as to make a print.” (Oxford Languages online dictionary)


             Photography itself is engraving – the process of layering up silver (in black-and-white prints) is an engraving! And even though it is very small scale, printing a picture upon a piece of paper can also be considered engraving – layering different thicknesses of ink!


             The idea is to be able to capture a moment in time and to have it present with you whenever you want to bring it out. This in itself is not bad – but it can become an “idol” in the following way:


             Suppose you have a picture of yourself in top physical condition – maybe when you were in your twenties, out at the beach and looking very fit. You bring it out now and then to remember your youth and how good you looked. 


             But how you used to look, in that moment in time, can become an idol! If you start looking in the mirror now and noticing all of the grey hairs and wrinkles and skin discolorations, you can become discontented with yourself and start beating yourself up inside! 


             You have, in essence, made your 20-year-old self an idol! That was the perfection that you had achieved, and now you’ve lost it never to be found again!


             The problem is you may have forgotten all of the other issues that were going on at that time. You might have been in a bad marriage; you may have been secretly longing after someone else’s job; you might have been addicted to alcohol or success or other people’s opinion of you. Your idolization of “what used to be” covers up a lot of sins that also happened to be at that time!


             God warns us against worshiping idols, because they are stuck in time. They are things that we give more power to than they actually have. We serve a living, breathing God who walks with us along our journey, not one who is stuck in the past or off in a distant future. We have a God who responds to us, and asks us to respond with Him. 


             This brings us to horoscopes – the idea that somehow, planets and stars and solar systems trillions of miles away from us can be used to predict our future. It’s a form of idolatry – putting our hope in something that is fixed and immovable. 


             God is not immovable. We find time and again in the scriptures when the prayers of God’s people moved God to work. They didn’t try to control God, but they asked plaintively for God’s help. 


             Religion would be easier if we could take out God whenever we wanted to, ask Him a request, and put Him away when we got what we wanted. But that’s not how God works – God invites us into a partnership with Him, and sometimes will tell us “No”. 


             Horoscopes can’t give you a real future. Pictures don’t tell the true story of what was happening at the time. Idols are designed to be brought out and put away whenever we feel like it. 


   But God wants to walk with us. 


Rev. Bill

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Service for September 17, 2023

"The Problem with Photography" (IDOLS)

Exodus 20:4-6

Link For September 17, 2023 Live Service

On Wednesday Rev. Bill will be

at the church office to guide our scripture study that we use to get a "sneak peek" at the

sermon message for Sunday!


September 20, 2023

Exodus 20:7;

Matthew 12:31-32

Link for Wednesday Bible Study at 3:00pm


Currently only the UMCOR and one other organization are doing Hurricane Ian relief work in Lee and Charlotte counties. Everyone else had left to go to the next disaster area! If you haven't been there in a while, it looks as if Ian came through last week!

Here's the need: SIMPLE VOLUNTEER WORK. No skills needed for electrical, plumbing, or roofing; just basic painting/ fixing / repair work. 

The issue is that the UMCOR workers can only spend 8 hours per week on a house, UNLESS THERE IS A VOLUNTEER WITH THEM!!! So your presence simply allows the trained workers to get more done!

Our district is setting up a "quick call" list of people who can come at a day's notice, just to support the UMCOR workers and do light repairs. Your presence can really help!  

Please either email Jill Hockin at [email protected] , or go to


Thank you!

             Once again Rev. Bill, Kim, and two others from our church family will be heading over to the lands where our Bible was lived – Greece, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, and Egypt! This “Bible Lands Passages” cruise will be a wonderful experience! 
             We have two requests of you: 
  • First, write down your prayers so that we can bring them to the Western Wall in Jerusalem and place them among the stones as we pray for healing; and 
  • Second, let us know if there are some special places where you would like Rev. Bill and Kim to comment upon the scriptures. (We can do videos!)
Our itinerary will include the following: 
  • Athens (where Paul preached)
  • Jerusalem
  • Bethlehem
  • Sea of Galilee
  • Capernaum (Peter’s House)
  • Mount of Beatitudes
  • Alexandria, Egypt
  • Pyramids
  • Ephesus
  • Corinth
As the schedule permits, Kim and Rev. Bill will make videos at as many places as they can and send back reports of what they have seen. 
Keep us in your prayers!


The places we go and the things we see!

Tom, wasn't it nice that scooter guy, FaceTimed us today? Yes, Princess, but did you see how big his head has gotten!

Tom, he is purr-fect!

He is looking good and feline good, that's what counts. With the right catitude, everything is pawsible!

UWF will resume the regular meetings on September 18, 2023  Again, all women are welcome.  The group has been meeting in Fellowship Hall on the third Monday of each month at 3:00 p.m.  The group focuses on missions and fellowship opportunities.  Any questions, see any officer:  Susan Atkinson, Jaci Colombo, Jann Mier, and Kathy Schmitt.

October Book Club Selection
After spending the September club meeting admiring the Amalfi Coast of Italy, the First UMC Book Club will turn back time in America with the Pulitzer Prize Winner The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.  The group will meet October 4 at the Royal Scoop at 1:15 p.m. for lunch and/or ice cream before discussing this novel, described by NPR as “an American masterpiece”.  Some members of our church family have even mentioned that their Quaker ancestors were a part of efforts to aid slaves.
The novel tells the story of “a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South”.  Cora is a slave on a Georgia cotton plantation.  An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood.  Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad.
In Whitehead’s novel, “the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.”  The Underground Railroad is “both the gripping tale of one woman’s will to escape the horrors of bondage – and a powerful meditation on the history we all share.”
The club meets the first Wednesday of each month at the Royal Scoop; all are welcome.  The only requirement is to enjoy reading and discussing with others what you have read.  Some may have already read this book but may not have had the opportunity to really discuss that reading.  That’s what makes book clubs so special.  This book is one of the book club kits from the Bonita Springs Public Library.  Books will be distributed at church before/after worship on Sunday.  See Susan Atkinson or text her at 239-405-9078 if you have questions or need a copy of the book.
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New Horizons website

Click to see Yesukan Impact
A visit to the library
Summer Fun 2023 at Olive Garden
YESUKAN website
Meals of Hope website
Click for Bonita Assistance  Website
First United Methodist Church of Bonita Springs
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday, 10 AM - 1 PM

27690 Shriver Avenue, Bonita Springs, FL 34135
Office: 239.992.1312

Rev. Bill Fisackerly, Pastor
(941) 681-0557